Soup of Chard or Spinach with Puréed Leeks

Puréed leeks are great to have in the freezer. Swirled into soups or tossed with roasted vegetables or rice, they add instant flavor and texture. Whenever you have time, cook some and purée them up, then freeze in 1-quart containers.

For a brilliant green taste and color, let this soup cool completely before blending in the spinach.

6 medium leeks, about 3 lbs.
4 Tbsp. butter
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups chicken broth or water
1 lb. Swiss chard or spinach, chopped
Salt and pepper
½ cup crème fraîche or yogurt (optional)
2-3 Tbsp. thinly sliced chives, for garnish
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced tarragon, for garnish

Puréed Leeks
Trim leeks of outer layer and stems. Discard tough gray leaves. Dark green parts can be saved for future soup stocks.
Chop white and tender green parts into 1/2-inch chunks.
Soak the white and green leeks in a large bowl of lukewarm water, swishing to dislodge sand.
Drain and soak again, then lift leeks from water, leaving any sediment behind.
Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks and season well with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring, until leeks are wilted, about 8 to 10 minutes.
To purée, add leeks with 1/4 cup of water or broth to food processor and blend.
Add garlic and cayenne (optional for spiciness) and cook until the garlic is soft.

Using a blender, purée the chard or raw spinach with half of the broth. Add a bit more of the broth and purée to a soup consistency. Add the leek purée. 
Working in batches, add the puréed soup to a pot and heat it through just before serving, to preserve the bright green color. 
Garnish each serving with a tablespoon of crème fraîche  or yogurt and a sprinkling of chives and tarragon.



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